Over the years, I've been on the giving and receiving end of relationship advice. Sometimes I listened. Others I did not. I've given life advice, taken it, ignored it, pretty much the same as anyone else. The challenge for everyone is hearing God, not people. More directly, the challenge is hearing God through people. Thus, sometimes we listen to what we shouldn't and discard what we need. After so much of that, a person can become insensitive to all voices, including their own inner voice. It becomes confusion and it shows up in every area of life.
What's my point? I truly believe we offer too many opinions and too much advice. The wise men of the Bible, the judges and even the kings did not speak as much as we do. There are times when silence is golden and prayer is the only advice, opinion, action and answer. We don't need to wrestle with a thousand carnal opinions. We need to hear the still, small voice of God. We need solidarity in mind and spirit to feel the gentle tug of the Holy Spirit. We need to exercise our patience, our faith and our love. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, nothing stretches our love, faith or patience like genuine love for another person. God is easy to love. He's perfect! People, they present a challenge to us, but you'll never encounter a person who God hates so if He can love them, He can teach us to love them too.
When it comes to other people's marriages, we must be even slower to speak. Marriage was instituted right after creation and way before church. It is sacred, but yet we invite people to quit on their spouses way too often. Just because you would leave does not mean they should, or even that you should. Just because biblically you can get a divorce, mercy may be asking you to try again. I don't know who I'm speaking to tonight, but please hear this word in your heart.
I know you've always been told you can do better. This isn't how things should be. REAL men don't do that. REAL women don't do this. There's always another fish in the sea. What one person won't do another one will. But discard all of that for one moment and look at life through the eyes of time and outside of the scope of emotions. Crucify me if you must, but let me get tough with you. In 20 years, most of the stuff you deem dire won't be. The arguments and what they were about will fade. In time, life takes us all through cycles where money doesn't matter, friendships fade, our bodies weaken and seems the ONLY IMPORTANT THING IS WHO IS HOLDING OUR HANDS.
Good times and bad, companionship is important. People who once claimed to have an undying love for one another are now walking away from one another based on speculation, rumors, the court of popular opinion, because of boredom, because of unreleased and wayward passions, because of lies. This list is extensive. Where is our prayer life? Where is our fight? Where is the sacrifice? It isn't my place to say stay. It isn't my place to say go. Tonight, my place is to remind you that it isn't anyone else's place either. This is your life. You choose who you will fight with and for until the very end. But if you've walked down the aisle, and if you aren't being raped, beaten down and your children are not being molested, then you may want to stop long enough to remember yourself, what you feel and what you want before walking away. I vote for marriages. I vote for couples standing up and daring anything to separate them. I say the hand you held on the altar can still be the one you're holding at your last breath if you want it. What say you?